Engadget Previews Windows Phone 7 On Samsung Taylor Reference Hardware

WP7 looks good.

Engadget’s Joshua Topolsky took a reference hardware Windows Phone 7 Samsung smartphone for a spin (source: Windows Phone 7 in-depth preview). The not-for-retail Samsung “Taylor” sports a 3.7-inch display with a 800×480 pixel format. Here’s the skinny.

Conclusion:

Seriously, if the WP7 team put their heads down and added a clipboard and some rudimentary multitasking, Microsoft could have an exceptionally solid version-one product in Windows Phone 7 — especially when coupled with the company’s fierce outreach to developers.

Pros

Metro UI: “Windows Phone 7 is easily the most unique UI in the smartphone race right now, and the real perk here is that it doesn’t just seem like an arbitrary decision to make things look different than other OSs — there is real purpose and utility to a lot of what Microsoft has come up with.”

Keyboard: “We’re talking nearly as good as the iPhone keyboard, and definitely better than the stock Android option. …we think Microsoft got this aspect of the phone’s UI pitch perfect.”

The Email App: “… is pretty terrific on the whole, providing a clean, clear layout and upfront options for your most-used functions.”

Browser: “… web browsing on Windows Phone 7 is actually a really pleasant experience. … Loading the desktop version of Engadget was just a hair slower than an iPhone 4…”

Office: “Tight Office integration, complete with an awesome on-phone document and viewing experience, stands to be one of the biggest differentiators for Windows Phone 7…”

Maps: “Though it’s not quite as full-featured as the latest renditions of Google Maps on Android have been, Microsoft’s Bing Maps implementation on Windows Phone 7 is pretty great…”

Search: “Microsoft has done a neat job translating Bing’s well-known home page layout to the small screen, complete with gorgeous rotating imagery and hotspots that reveal factoids when you tap them.”

Eh

Social: “Facebook just needs to be sandboxed a little bit more. Optimally, Microsoft would go with the Android philosophy…”

SMS: “… fairly barebones, but it definitely gets the job done, and looks pretty good while doing it.”

Zune: “… we love having almost limitless access to new music on a phone… though you’re adding another $14.95 on top of your existing phone bill…”

Camera: “… Windows Phone 7’s minimum specs should ensure that you’re getting at least moderately decent shots no matter what device you choose.”

Cons

No copy and paste. No third-party multitasking. No Twitter integration. No unified inbox, threaded messaging, server-side search for email. Browser doesn’t support Flash, Silverlight or HTML5.

Not Yet Fully Implemented: Marketplace, Xbox Live